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About the author

A picture named daveTiny.jpgDave Winer, 56, is a visiting scholar at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and editor of the Scripting News weblog. He pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in New York City.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

"Dave was in a hurry. He had big ideas." -- Harvard.

"Dave Winer is one of the most important figures in the evolution of online media." -- Nieman Journalism Lab.

10 inventors of Internet technologies you may not have heard of. -- Royal Pingdom.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

8/2/11: Who I Am.

Contact me

scriptingnews1mail at gmail dot com.




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People are always asking about my bike.

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April 2010

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FYI: You're soaking in it. :-)

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Dave Winer's weblog, started in April 1997, bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

What it means to be a blogger Permalink.

A picture named football.gifI think it's time to write this piece, after many many years of doing this.

People debate my "review" of netbooks as compared to Apple's iPad. Who is the iPad for? I should know it's not for me (even though Apple was happy to take my money). I should evaluate it based on its intended "audience." I should think about them before I write my blog post. I should write the post they would write. I should forget about what I see with my own two eyes.

That's nonsense. It's ridiculous.

I am a blogger, not a reviewer. I'm telling a story from my point of view. There's a totally implicit YMMV on everything that appears on this blog. You have a different experience? Great! Blog it. And stop trying to tell me what to say.

Further, there's a myth that reviewers are omniscient and have infinite resources and know what everything's intended purpose is. That's also nonsense. The people who review these things for the newspapers and magazines would do better to just tell us what their experience is and who they are and let us sort it all out. In other words, imho, we could use more honest bloggers and less reviewers.

Anyway what I said happened really did happen. I had some pictures in my camera and if I had had my netbook they really would have gone to Flickr and because I had my iPad they didn't. Really. It really happened. Not the end of the world, or even particularly important, but I didn't say it was. There's no point arguing because unless you were one of the two other people there you couldn't possibly know.

I don't claim there's any global significance to what I write here. I claim these are my own experiences, related as clearly as I know how to relate them. That's all. Nothing more.

Blogging has been going on for a long time. There really is no excuse for not knowing the difference between a blog post and a review. Think about it.

Netbooks are still a great deal Permalink.

A picture named mao.gifI have both an iPad and a netbook, and the netbook is strictly more useful than the iPad. If I go out with the iPad invariably I hit a wall. No SD card slot. No USB. The keyboard is hunt-and-peck.

The iPad doesn't remember my Facebook password, so when I want to check Facebook I must reach for the netbook. A small thing you say -- but operating systems are collections of hundreds of small things, and new operating systems like the one in the iPad don't have them and old ones like XP do.

I had pictures in my camera the other day. No way to get them up to Flickr through the iPad. If I had had the netbook with me, no problem. (I used my Droid instead.)

The netbook has a real keyboard. I'm writing this blog post on it. It's taken a couple of minutes so far. I'd still be on paragraph 2 if I had used the iPad. And I'd be entering it on one of my WordPress blogs because my customized content tools don't and will never run on Apple's new platform. (Unless they change their mind.)

There's an awful glitch in the way the clipboard works on the iPad. Try to put the cursor on a mis-spelling. It always selects the whole word. I've gotten in the habit of retyping the word when there's a one character spelling error. These little things are of course little, but they mount up.

I hate the font they chose for Safari. How do I change it? There does not appear to be a way to do that. That was a new feature in Windows in 1995. Or was it 1994? <img src=">

I think the tech industry should give up the belief that netbooks are a temporary thing and fully embrace them and make the work better and better. Ultimately the user is always right, and ultimately always gets what they want.

Apple has a long way to go before the iPad is a useful tool. Lots of little things to fix and tweak, and a philosophy that's going to keep the really innovative stuff flowing elsewhere (where -- not determined yet).

I hear Asus is coming out with an Android netbook-style tablet in June. Sign me up. I bet it's a nice computer. Android of course is just as immature as the iPad. I'd really like to see a Windows XP tablet made by Asus. That would sell pretty well, imho.

When it should be easy to speak to a human Permalink.

Twice in the last few days I've had this experience.

1. Bought something on a website.

2. The goods weren't delivered.

3. There was no way to get help from the organization.

They had my money, I didn't have what I had bought, and there was no way to get help from a human being. The FAQs on both sites were of no help, they didn't anticipate the situation where someone had paid their money and had not received the product.

Now, I can understand why a company who is providing a free service tries to hide the contact information. After all, you didn't pay anything, and a human being to answer your questions costs serious out-of-pocket cash. But if you paid, that excuse no longer works.

In fact, it feels like fraud to take money online without a way to correct mistakes, which are sure to happen.

I'm not saying which organizations, because I don't want to make this about them. Eventually both made good, but in neither case was the experience satisfactory.

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:44:47 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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